Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2525-2541, 2017
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/17/2525/2017/
doi:10.5194/acp-17-2525-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Technical note
17 Feb 2017
Technical note: Simultaneous fully dynamic characterization of multiple input–output relationships in climate models
Ben Kravitz1, Douglas G. MacMartin2,3, Philip J. Rasch1, and Hailong Wang1 1Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
2Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
3Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Abstract. We introduce system identification techniques to climate science wherein multiple dynamic input–output relationships can be simultaneously characterized in a single simulation. This method, involving multiple small perturbations (in space and time) of an input field while monitoring output fields to quantify responses, allows for identification of different timescales of climate response to forcing without substantially pushing the climate far away from a steady state. We use this technique to determine the steady-state responses of low cloud fraction and latent heat flux to heating perturbations over 22 regions spanning Earth's oceans. We show that the response characteristics are similar to those of step-change simulations, but in this new method the responses for 22 regions can be characterized simultaneously. Furthermore, we can estimate the timescale over which the steady-state response emerges. The proposed methodology could be useful for a wide variety of purposes in climate science, including characterization of teleconnections and uncertainty quantification to identify the effects of climate model tuning parameters.

Citation: Kravitz, B., MacMartin, D. G., Rasch, P. J., and Wang, H.: Technical note: Simultaneous fully dynamic characterization of multiple input–output relationships in climate models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2525-2541, doi:10.5194/acp-17-2525-2017, 2017.
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We introduce system identification techniques to climate science wherein multiple dynamic input–output relationships can be simultaneously characterized in a single simulation. This method, involving multiple small perturbations (in space and time) of an input field while monitoring output fields to quantify responses, allows for identification of different timescales of climate response to forcing without substantially pushing the climate far away from a steady state.
We introduce system identification techniques to climate science wherein multiple dynamic...
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